Hurricane Harvey Relief

Posted on August 28, 2017

Updated on September 8, 2017

CharityWatch announces a list of highly efficient and accountable charities involved in efforts to provide emergency relief and humanitarian assistance to the Texas Gulf flood victims of Hurricane Harvey.

Hurricane Harvey is the state of Texas's worst storm in more than 50 years. Harvey is the first hurricane to hit the state since Ike in 2008. The death toll related to the storm is relatively low at 70 people. However, Harvey and its record-setting rains caused severe damage in many parts of Texas and Louisiana, and the full extent of its destruction still remains to be seen. The recovery and rebuilding efforts in Harvey's aftermath are expected to take years. 

The Related Charities listed below perform favorably in relation to CharityWatch benchmarks:
1) A charity should spend at least 75% of its budget on program services.
2) A charity should spend no more than $25 to raise $100.

Contact your favorite charities to find out if they provide the specific types of aid that you would like to fund, e.g., emergency shelters, food and water, health care, psychological trauma counseling, etc.

DONORS BEWARE
As with any charitable contribution, Americans wanting to help with disaster relief efforts should only give to legitimate charities with an established track record of helping people in need.

People need to be on guard concerning the surge of solicitations related to any highly publicized crisis. There will be fraudulent charity solicitations, some involving websites and email links attempting to steal your credit card information for identity theft or insert malware on your computer.

Social media will include many fake victims. Do not donate to unknown individuals that purport to need aid that post on Facebook, GoFundMe, Generosity by Indiegogo, YouCaring, etc. These may be fraudsters, and even if they are legitimate victims, they may receive an unfairly large amount of aid. (For more related to crowdfunding sites, see CharityWatch's article: Crowdfunding Popularity Continues to Soar Despite Risks to Donors.)

SEND A CHECK, NOT GOODS
The best way to help is by sending a check. Cash donations enable charities to buy the most needed types of food, medicine, clothing, shelter materials and other supplies. By buying relief products locally or regionally, charities can reduce shipping costs and more rapidly deliver assistance. Before sending any goods, first contact the charity to find out if they are appropriate and if it will be cost effective to distribute them. For example, after a tsunami in the Pacific, boxes of donated winter coats, scarves and fuzzy hats, completely useless items in tsunami-stricken nations with tropical climates, were sent to these nations.

CharityWatch identifies the following Top-Rated charities, which are providing relief to Hurricane Harvey victims and receive an “A” or “B+” grade based on the portion of their budget going to program services and their fundraising efficiency. Top-Rated charities also must meet CharityWatch's Governance and Transparency benchmarks. Contact the organizations below for information on specific relief operations now underway.

Related Charities

All Hands VolunteersA+
American HumaneA
American Red CrossB+
American Refugee CommitteeA+
Best Friends Animal SocietyB+
Catholic Relief ServicesA+
Church World ServiceB+
Direct Relief & Direct Relief FoundationA
Episcopal Relief & DevelopmentA
Feeding AmericaB+
Habitat for Humanity International (National Office)B+
Lutheran World ReliefA
MAP InternationalB+
Mercy CorpsA
Operation USAA-
PetSmart CharitiesA+
Project Concern InternationalA-
Project HOPEB
RedRoverB+
Samaritan's PurseA-
Save the ChildrenA
Team RubiconA-
United Methodist Committee on ReliefA+
World VisionA-

« Back to Hot Topics